Column: November 26, 2015

Draft City Budget 2016 tabled

On November 12, the draft City of Ottawa budget for 2016 was tabled at City Council. The draft proposes to continue investments in active transportation, affordable housing and economic development. It also caps the residential property tax change at 2 per cent and provides reasonable cost-saving measures that do not affect front-line services. The proposed tax revenue increase is 1.75 per cent for City and Police services, which translates to a 2 per cent increase for a residential property.

To provide feedback on the draft budget, residents are welcome to register as a public delegation at any of the standing committee, commission and board meetings, which are taking place through to Monday, December 7. A full listing of these public meetings is available on ottawa.ca. Residents can also provide their input via email at budget2016@ottawa.ca, on Twitter using the hashtag #ottbudget or directly to me at eli.el-chantiry@ottawa.ca. The budget will rise to City Council for consideration on Wednesday, December 9. For full information on the Draft 2016 Budget, visit ottawa.ca/budget2016.

5th annual Ward 5 Christmas food hamper drive

My Ward 5 office is once again collecting food for the West Carleton Food Access Centre from November 30 to December 19. Please drop off any non-perishable food items at my ward office, 5670 Carp Road, Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm. Items in great need by the WCFAC are: peanut butter, canned soup, packaged oatmeal cookies, 100% fruit juice boxes (pure or from concentrate) and whole grain breakfast cereal. Please be sure to check expiry dates on any goods you are bringing – expired items cannot be accepted. The residents of West Carleton-March have always come to the aid of those less fortunate and I thank you in advance for your ongoing generosity!

Free public skating

Starting on Saturday, November 28, 2015 and running until Sunday March 27, 2016, all public skating sessions held in City arenas on Saturdays and Sundays will be free again this winter, compliments of a sponsorship agreement between the City and RBC, as part of the City’s Community Champions Program. The RBC commitment to this initiative has a value of $285,000 over three years, and ends in 2016.  Residents can check public skating schedules on ottawa.ca for dates, times and locations.